In the comments on How is age kept track of in the Star Wars universe? we started discussing the relevance of relativity in the star wars universe.

Is there any evidence in Canon or Legends of any relativistic effects (in particular time dilation) being relevant in the Star Wars universe?

Please indicate which parts of your answer are Legends or current (Disney) canon.

1 Answer 1


Relativity at high speed exists within Legends but is hand-waved through the use of relativistic shielding

WOZIN, DELEMEDE - To look at him, you'd swear he wasn't a day over 35 standard years old, but Bosbit Matarcher's birth records confirm the unthinkable - he's 225 years old. His secret? Faulty relativistic shielding. "I got what I thought was a deal on this ship," says Matarcher, pointing to his antique Delemedian starhopper. "I engaged the jump drive for a trip in outsystem. It took about two hours. When I got out, it was 200 years later." Matarcher is taking it all in stride. "Well, truth to tell, when I left, home was pretty shoddy and run down, but now Delemede is a thriving place. I can't wait to get back, but this time I'll fly transit."

Holonet Article: 225-year Old Man's Secret? Time Dilation

  • Ignoring the fact that employing the theory of relativity with regards to FTL travel is in itself ridiculous, if you travelled faster than light in a ship without (or with faulty) "relativistic shielding", wouldn't you end up going back in time, not forwards? Aug 29, 2017 at 15:05
  • @DisturbedNeo FTL travel in the SW universe uses hyperspace, which is (as best I understand it) an alternate dimension in which distance is condensed. By jumping into hyperspace, crossing some distance, and then exiting hyperspace back into realspace, you could move from A to B in less time than it would take for light to cross that distance directly, without actually exceeding the speed of light.
    – user45623
    Aug 30, 2017 at 3:29
  • 1
    @DisturbedNeo, FTL travel doesn't inherently take you backwards in time, unless you're a Star Trek character I guess. It's difficult to change physics to allow FTL travel without it also allowing time travel, but in-universe you'd still have a choice whether to go backwards or forwards or neither. What really doesn't make sense about "faulty relativistic shielding" is that by all rights it should affect how much time the trip takes from your perspective, not from the perspective of the outside universe. Aug 30, 2017 at 3:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.